Gun-sense Nation is all agog because of some news out of Harvard and Northeastern which claims that roughly 3% of Americans adults – which is 7.7 million – between them own 8 to 140 guns each, for an average personal ownership of 17 guns. These ‘super’ gun owners, according to the not-yet-but-soon-to-be released study, together have 130 million guns sitting around their homes which constitutes what Mother Jones calls the ‘craziest’ statistic about guns.
Let me break the news gently to my friends in Gun-sense Nation: having 17 guns around is nothing. Down in Chesterfield County, SC, ol’ boy name of Brent Nicholson’s got, according to the County Sheriff, an ‘ass-load’ of guns, probably around 5,000 or so. Out in Southern California in the ritzy neighborhood known as Pacific Palisades, the cops broke into the home of a fellow who had been dead for a couple of days and found over a thousand guns.
Right now I’m kinda light when it comes to guns that I personally own; last time I looked my pile was somewhere around 60 or so, and I hope my wife doesn’t read this column because she’ll tell me to sell some more. I got a call from a fellow the other day who’s step-father just died, his mother found a bunch of guns down in the basement and doesn’t want them around the house so I told him that I would buy the whole bunch, sight unseen, for five thousand bucks. To which my wife then said, “we don’t have any room for the damn things so do me a favor and sell some of the ones you have.” I don’t see her selling any of her shoes, btw, but I gotta sell my guns, right?
I get lots of nasty comments from members of Gun-nut Nation whenever I refer to my guns as ‘adult toys.’ But that’s exactly what they are. Owning all that metal doesn’t in any way make me ‘free’ (actually it ties me down because I can’t imagine packing the damn things up and moving them all to a new home); it doesn’t protect me from terrorism or any other kind of threat; it doesn’t support my 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’ I own all those guns because I like owning guns – it’s as simple as that. I had toy guns around me from almost the time I could walk, I bought my first, real gun when I was twelve years old, over the sixty years since then I have probably bought and sold more than 1,000 personal guns. Sound like a lot? That’s a little more than one a month. That’s no big deal.
And by the way, between 1956 when I bought my first real gun and 2008, not a single one of those transactions was protected by any kind of Constitutional ‘right,’ and not a single one of those transactions was in any delayed or prohibited because I didn’t have any kind of Constitutional protection for owning a gun. If the 2nd Amendment is what keeps a gun-grabber like Hillary from taking away my guns, how come gun-grabbing liberals didn’t try to ban guns before Dick Heller took his case to the Supreme Court?
You can invest gun ownership with any kind of social, cultural or legal rationale that you choose, but the only reason why most people actually own guns is because there’s nothing that says they can’t. They might want to believe that their guns will protect them from crime, and on very rare occasions someone actually does use a gun to keep a bad guy from breaking down the back door, but a lot more people accidentally shoot themselves than shoot someone else who otherwise might cause them harm.
Is there any connection between the number of guns I own or have owned and the fact that 115,000 Americans get injured or killed each year with guns? There sure is. Called a gun.